An old pic of the temple premises taken from their website
I have mentioned earlier that my mom is in town and have been staying with me and my sister for almost a month now. Needless to say that I am enjoying every bit of her stay with perks like home-cooked food, an organized home and kitchen and the best part is that there is someone always waiting for me when I am back home from office. 🙂
Anyways, since the whole week we are busy, I try to take her out on the weekends. After treating her to some lovely Bengali food this Saturday along with some shopping and also a visit to the doc for a routine check-up, I decided to take her for some sight-seeing on Sunday after a lazy lunch at home.
Since my bestie was also in town, we decided to go together to the Venkateshwara Temple of Guwahati (popularly known as Balaji Mandir) in the evening. It is located in Betkuchi, Guwahati, Assam. Spread over about 2 acres of land, the mandir complex has a clean environment, with various trees blooming and swaying in the gentle breeze.
Photo taken from their website
The main deity is of Lord Balaji. It is carved out of a single stone weighing 4 tonnes and the features, the smiling face, ornaments carved on the stone with Sankha (conch) Chakra and Four arms (one Abhya Hastam showering blessings, and the other on the hip) all add to the solemnity and serenity of the Temple. The Utsava Murthy comprises of Lord Balaji, his consort, Ubhayee. Nachiars and Chakrathalwar are carved out of metal. As in Tirupati, Goddess Padmavathi (Avatar of Mahalakshmi) blesses from an adjacent temple. On the directive of His Holiness Sri Sankaracharyya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Guwahati being the seat of Goddess Kamakhya, a temple has been built for Goddess Durga. She has 8 arms, bearing the Sankha, Chakra, knives, bows and arrows. The bow is made of stone which, when tapped produces a metallic sound. Garuda, the Vahana of Lord Balaji, has a separate temple. A Yangasala has been built in traditional style to enable devotees to perform Yagnas of their choice. The Gopurams are constructed as per the shilpa shastras and are in the South Indian architectural style. These magnificent Gopurams range from eight feet in the Ganesh Temple to 70 feet in the Rajagopuram. They are painted white and glisten when sunlight falls on them. The exquisite wooden doors have been handcrafted in Chennai. The temple is well illuminated at night.
Since it was a Sunday and also one of the popular tourist spots in the city, the temple complex was filled with devotees and there were queues everywhere. We managed to offer our prayers without too much of a hassle. The last time I was here was many years ago. The main attractions of this place for me have always been the neat & clean mandir complex managed very well by the authorities, the sense of calm and peace I experienced there, the architectural design in pristine white and last but not the least the tastiest Prasad, esp. the laddoos. 🙂
The visit was a satisfying one and the three of us came back happy & at peace. 🙂
More pics of the temple here – http://balajitempleguwahati.org/gallery/